Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

513

Sabir Mateen: URDLA XXX

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
It must have been some surprise when Sabir Mateen, already playing, strode into the centre of URDLA, the Parisian engraving workshop where a hundred guests were convened for a celebration of its 30th anniversary. Mateen had been commissioned as a special guest to appear on the stroke of midnight. Solo concerts are not the rite of passage they were for a saxophonist back in the 1970s test bed of free jazz creativity, and their infrequency means it still takes a healthy dose of chutzpah to expose oneself to such scrutiny.

A notable fixture on New York City's Lower East Side scene, Mateen contributes his mellifluous reed starbursts to the improvising collective TEST, William Parker's Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, and, more recently, Steve Swell's Slammin' the Infinite (CJR, 2005). He already has one solo disc to his name in This Is the Meaning of Life Center (NoLabels, 2004), but whereas that comprised a single piece, which, surprisingly for someone with such a volcanic reputation, gave the feel of introspective private discourse, URDLA XXX is a more rounded performance. Mateen's entrance intersperses vocal cries with tinkling bells before an ear-grabbing eruption of molten sound from the bell of his alto clarinet, and he goes on to cycle through eight more pieces in the 51-minute performance.

"Music Is Sound and Sound Is Music" is a spoken rap on the nature of music, accompanied by tinkling percussion, which segues into "Jimmy Lyons," a litany of controlled whistles in the altissimo register of his alto saxophone quite unlike its dedicatee. As with the other selections on offer, it displays the reedman's unconstrained invention and love of the extremes, tempered by an underlying soulfulness. Melody does make more of an appearance than might be expected from Mateen, not least on "One for the Rev.—Rev. Frank Wright," where the saxophonist's initial theme has more than nodding acquaintance with "Bye Bye Blackbird" before passing through the prism of blues abstraction.

As the closing strains of the rich, introverted "Blessing to You" fade away, Mateen takes the deserved applause and thanks his impromptu audience after what has been a challenging though warmly accessible recital.


Track Listing: The City of Lyon; Art Dance; Dakka Du Boo Yu!; Music Is Sound and Sound Is Music; Jimmy Lyons; Sekasso Blues; One for the Rev.--Rev. Frank Wright; More Than a Hammer and Nail; Blessing to You.

Personnel: Sabir Mateen: alto clarinet, alto saxophone, small percussion, vocal.

Title: URDLA XXX | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Rogue Art


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 21 CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 21
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Lavaman CD/LP/Track Review Lavaman
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Live From Jazz at the Bistro" CD/LP/Track Review Live From Jazz at the Bistro
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 15, 2017
Read "Desert Pulse" CD/LP/Track Review Desert Pulse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 30, 2017
Read "Submerged" CD/LP/Track Review Submerged
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 9, 2017
Read "Alchemist" CD/LP/Track Review Alchemist
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Like, Strange" CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Jeg roper til deg" CD/LP/Track Review Jeg roper til deg
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 7, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!